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USS Dunlap (DD-384)

USS Dunlap (DD-384)

USS Dunlap (DD-384) was a Mahan-class destroyer constructed for the US Navy during World War II. She was named in honor of Brigadier General Robert H. Dunlap, a general in the US Marine Corps. General Dunlap lost his life when attempting to rescue a woman who had become trapped in a landslide in France on May 19, 1931.


Dunlap was launched by United Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Corporation in New York, New York. She was sponsored by Mrs. Katherine Wood Dunlap, the namesake’s widow. Commander A.E. Schrader took command of Dunlap on June 12, 1937.

Naval History

Following commissioning, Dunlap conducted training along the east coast. She then provided escort to MS Kungsholm out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as she carried the Crown Prince of Sweden. On April 2, 1940, she left the west coast to serve out of Pearl Harbor.

On the day of the Pearl Harbor attacks, Dunlap was on her way back to Pearl Harbor after ferrying planes to Wake Island. She arrived to Pearl Harbor the day after the attacks took place. She then patrolled the area until January 11, 1942, at which time she assisted with air strikes on the Marshal Islands. On March 22, Dunlap escorted convoys between a variety of different ports along the west coast. She returned on to Pearl Harbor on October 22, 1942.

Dunlap began operating out of Noumea, New Caledonia on December 5, 1942. On the night of August 6, she and five other destroyers intercepted a Japanese force that was en route to Kolombangara with reinforcements. The group ultimately sank three Japanese destroyers in the subsequent Battle of Vella Gulf.

After completing patrol duty out of Alaska, Dunlap returned to Pearl Harbor. She then joined the 5th Fleet to providing screening to carriers en route to the Marshall Islands. Upon her return to San Francisco on July 7, 1944, Dunlap assisted with the screen of Baltimore (CA-68) as it carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt for conferences and inspections.

On October 9 of that year, Dunlap participated in the bombardment of Marcus Island. One week later, she rendezvoused with the 3rd Fleet for strikes on Luzon. On March 19, 1945, Dunlap assisted with the occupation of Iwo Jima. On June 19 that year, she sank an enemy craft as it was making an attempt to evacuate Chichi Jimi. Dunlap picked up 52 of the ship’s survivors. Japanese officers came aboard Dunlap on August 31 to discuss terms for surrendering the Bonin Islands.

Dunlap was decommissioned on December 14, 1945 in Norfolk, Virginia. She was sold on December 31, 1947. Dunlap received six battle stars for her service in World War II.

Asbestos Risk on the USS Dunlap (DD-384)

Installing asbestos insulation in the design of naval ships was mandated by Congress in the 1930s, after a fire at sea aboard the SS Morro Castle caused the deaths of 137 passengers and crew. Dunlap, like most Navy ships at the time, installed asbestos insulation extensively in boilers and engineering spaces, and to insulate steam pipes in all sections of the ship. If asbestos-containing material becomes worn it becomes friable, meaning that fibers can break off and escape into the air, where they can be breathed in by naval personnel and dockworkers, possibly causing mesothelioma. Asbestos has been known for centuries for its resistance to fire and heat, but it was also proven to be the primary cause of serious conditions such as asbestosis and pleural mesothelioma.

Science has not yet developed a cure for mesothelioma disease; however, skilled researchers like Dr. David Sugarbaker are always working to develop new treatments and modalities. Those who have contracted mesothelioma may want to seek out additional information about the asbestos cancer and get more information about their legal rights. A professional mesothelioma lawyer is a good resource for that information. Additional information can also be found in our mesothelioma information packet. It is a comprehensive resource containing information about legal and treatment options, along with a list of mesothelioma clinics nationwide. All you have to do is fill in the form on this page and we will send your package, at no charge to you.



Dunlap. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy – Naval Historical Center. Retrieved 1 January 2011.

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